VMware vSAN HCI multi-cloud setup keeps ambulance airbound

searchconvergedinfrastructure | July 17, 2019

For Angel MedFlight, keeping its IT operations running can be a matter of life and death.Angel MedFlight, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., transports patients by a Learjet fleet of medical aircraft to hospitals throughout the world. Angel MedFlight flight coordinators must be available at all times, and each aircraft has a medical crew aboard. The air ambulance company relies on a multiple cloud setup and data centers in Texas and Colorado to keep communications open at all times. Angel MedFlight developed its own application on top of Salesforce that connects to AWS S3, and relies on a VMware vSAN-powered hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) running on Hewlett Packard ProLiant servers for on-premises compute and storage. Angel MedFlight uses Cisco CallManager for call centers.

Spotlight

The automation journey consists of 3 steps: virtualization, datacenter transformation and distributed cloud & network slicing. On the first step, driven by the challenges of high capex and long time to test and deploy a service, operators decide to move towards virtualization. By automating the testing and life cycle management of virtual network functions (VNFs), it's possible to benefit from lower total cost of ownership and shorten the time to market.


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VPN

Absolute Software Achieves Common Criteria Certification

Absolute Software | February 04, 2022

Absolute Software, a leader in self-healing Zero Trust solutions, announced the company’s secure access product, NetMotion Mobility 12.14, has achieved Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+ – the highest certification level recognized internationally under the Common Criteria program for software products. Absolute is the only network solutions provider to achieve this certification across Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows for its Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology. The certification demonstrates that NetMotion Mobility continues to meet the highest level of security requirements and satisfies the complex security needs of national and enterprise customers. Achieving Common Criteria EAL4+ certification, which is considered the gold standard for government-grade security, reaffirms Absolute’s commitment to delivering products that meet or exceed stringent international security standards. Absolute’s secure access solutions are designed specially for the remote workforce, enabling resilient connectivity to mission-critical mobile applications and data. Absolute is the only provider to offer Resilient Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) alongside a VPN solution, enabling organizations to leverage the same secure tunnel to gradually adopt ZTNA while also retaining an enterprise VPN to be used when needed. Our secure access products enable thousands of organizations worldwide – including public safety agencies, governments, and enterprises – to provide remote access through VPN and ZTNA in a way that actively improves the employee experience, and assures maximum security and uncompromised productivity. With the number and severity of threats posed by careless or malicious insiders, cyber criminals, and nation-state actors at an all-time high, we believe our continued investment in this evaluation and certification process is critical to being a leading, trusted security provider.” John Herrema, Executive Vice President of Product and Strategy at Absolute Common Criteria (ISO 15408) is regarded as an international benchmark for IT product security certification and is mutually recognized by 31 member countries in the Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (CCRA), including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Common Criteria is a framework that provides assurance that the process of specification, implementation and evaluation of a computer security solution has been conducted in a rigorous, standard, achievable, repeatable, and testable manner at a level that is commensurate with the target environment for use. About Absolute Software Absolute Software accelerates customers’ shift to work-from-anywhere through the industry’s first self-healing Zero Trust platform, helping to ensure maximum security and uncompromised productivity. Absolute is the only solution embedded in more than half a billion devices, offering a permanent digital connection that intelligently and dynamically applies visibility, control and self-healing capabilities to endpoints, applications, and network access to help ensure their cyber resilience tailored for distributed workforces. Trusted by nearly 16,000 customers, G2 recognized Absolute as a leader in Zero Trust Networking in the Fall of 2021.

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Collins Teaches First UT Class Delivered Via Virtual Reality

University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Haslam College of Business | February 14, 2022

On a Thursday morning in fall 2021, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville seniors weren't sure what to expect from the next session of their capstone marketing course at the Haslam College of Business. As they took in the scenic view of a desert landscape surrounding them, they watched their fellow students fill the class space, where instructor Mark Collins stood at the front of a futuristic-looking auditorium. These students weren't on a field trip; they were in their apartments and dorm rooms, attending an experimental hybrid section of Marketing Strategy (MARK 460), which Collins, distinguished lecturer of marketing at Haslam and director of the college's Office of Technology-Enhanced Education, believes to be the first class at UT to utilize virtual reality as a regular delivery modality. Engaging Marketing Students in a New Way VR technology has become common in fields like medicine where training involves high risk or high price tags, but Collins was inspired by marketers who had begun using the related technology of augmented reality, enabling users to view their physical surroundings through a phone or tablet and see computer-generated content such as a brand mascot overlaid on the space. With the encouragement of the college's leadership, he obtained Oculus Quest 2 headsets to interface with the VR platform Spatial, which provides high-quality audio and video and integrates easily with smartphones and Microsoft Office. For this hybrid section of MARK 460, Collins planned for six or eight class sessions in the middle of the semester to be delivered via VR and the rest face-to-face. In the same semester, he taught another section of the course that was completely face-to-face. He says that while both sections achieved the required level of learning for the class, he believes the VR class absorbed the material at a higher level. "Because it was so different, it made them focus and pay attention a lot more," says Collins, who makes a clear distinction between VR and other types of remote learning. "The interaction and engagement by the students in VR is night and day compared to if we only had met on Zoom. Part of it, I'm sure, is the fact that they're an avatar, so they don't feel that self-consciousness." Bridgette Liederbach, a Haslam marketing major scheduled to graduate in May 2022, agrees. Having an avatar makes the classroom experience feel personal and like we are all in the room together but also makes it less intimidating. Zoom sometimes makes me uncomfortable to have my camera on and [unmute myself] because I know everyone will see my face pop up on their screen, but using Spatial makes talking in class easier." Bridgette Liederbach, a Haslam marketing major Potential for Teaching Across Disciplines For future sections of the course, Collins wants to take his entire class on a virtual field trip to a store, using VR footage of retail aisles that has already been shot. "I want to stand there with them in front of that and say, 'OK, what's happening here? Why are there 13 different types of Cheez-Its?'" he says. "Then we can go down the aisle and see how the competitors are reacting, and what they're doing that kind of matches up with what Cheez-It did." Other Haslam faculty members have approached Collins about the feasibility of using VR in their courses, and he is enthusiastic about the possibilities, especially as more units, apps and software become available at lower price points. While he doesn't recommend teaching full courses exclusively via VR yet, he imagines financial reports in which students could reach out to pick up information and place it where it belongs, or a VR supply chain where they could identify and manipulate bottlenecks. "Across all disciplines, there are moments where we want the students to understand something at a really deep and meaningful level, and we can use VR to make that engagement and interaction happen," he says. "I can see using it in a focused, short time span, to keep it really powerful rather than just becoming the new normal."

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SeekGene Increases Efficiency by 500% by Leveraging MemVerge Memory Machine in the Cloud

SeekGene | May 13, 2022

MemVerge™, the pioneers of Big Memory software, today announced that SeekGene, a biotechnology research firm focusing on single-cell technology, has significantly reduced processing time and cost for data intensive single-cell analysis tasks using MemVerge Memory Machine running on AliCloud i4p compute instances. As a result, SeekGene is seeing a five-fold increase in output per virtual machine (VM) in its analytical operations. In particular, the data loading and exporting performance of its single cell sequencing pipeline has improved by two orders of magnitude, and it has doubled the sample size of the dataset used in the analyses. SeekGene is a biotechnology enterprise focusing on single-cell technology that supports clinical diagnosis and development of precision medicine. The medical biopharmaceutical organization owns an exclusive microporous chip and water-in-oil dual technology platform and performs independent research and development of high throughput single-cell products, experiments, and full-chain services for bioinformatics analysis. SeekGene's SeekOne NGS single-cell library platform, the SeekGene Online automated online data analysis platform, and its proprietary droplet method and micropore method dual platform sequencing capabilities provide data analysis for international scientific researchers. The sequencing services are deployed on AliCloud. However, because analytical processes use expression data as high as hundreds of thousands of reads, sequencing analysis can fail on traditional VM instances due to insufficient memory. In addition, the export and loading process of temporary data on disk during sequencing tasks can also be extremely lengthy. Using MemVerge Memory Machine Cloud Edition software running on AliCloud i4p VM instances, which feature Intel Optane persistent memory (PMem), SeekGene is now able to use large memory resources with no change to its code. This allows SeekGene to double its sample size and enables up to five times more concurrent processes to run. Further, with MemVerge Memory Machine Cloud Edition, SeekGene is able to improve data loading and exporting performance by two orders of magnitude by eliminating the I/O bottleneck that is caused by disk reads and writes. Specifically: On a traditional VM instance which uses NVMe SSD to save temporary data, it takes over 15 minutes to store the dataset. By employing MemVerge Memory Machine snapshot technology, saving the data takes only 2.5 seconds. When compared to AliCloud ESC.g5, the previous AliCloud VM instance used by SeekGene, the AliCloud ECS.i4p, together with MemVerge Memory Machine technology, enables SeekGene to run five concurrent tasks, each with twice the size of the original dataset. "Using MemVerge Memory Machine, we are able to employ large memory resources in the cloud without refactoring our code, and eliminate the delay caused by storage I/O otherwise required in our pipelines," said Xingyong Ma, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of SeekGene. "As a result, we are able to cut our analytical time and costs significantly while optimizing our single-cell sequencing capabilities for researchers worldwide to promote faster development of precision medicine." The SeekGene use case is a typical example of how biotechnology researchers can revolutionize their computational analyses by leveraging Big Memory technology in the cloud. These data intensive workloads can now be performed at record speeds and at dramatically lower cost. For the biotechnology industry, this can be a true gamechanger." Jonathan Jiang, Chief Operating Officer, MemVerge. MemVerge Memory Machine enables applications to utilize 100% of available memory capacity across multiple memory types with no code refactoring required, while providing new operational capabilities to memory-centric workloads. MemVerge Memory Machine Cloud Edition extends these benefits to cloud workloads, delivering memory virtualization, in-memory fault-tolerance and mobility services that organizations can easily add to their cloud infrastructure. Stateful, non-fault-tolerant, and long-running apps can now realize the promise of cloud agility and flexibility. More information on Memory Machine Cloud Edition is available here. About MemVerge MemVerge is pioneering Big Memory Computing for a multi-cloud world. Major gaps exist in today's cloud infrastructure for data-intensive high-performance applications. MemVerge® Memory Machine™ delivers software-defined, composable memory and intelligent memory service to bridge these gaps. As a software leader in the CXL ecosystem, MemVerge composable memory technology provisions, tiers, disaggregates, and pools heterogeneous memory to scale memory capacity and decrease memory cost. MemVerge ZeroIO™ in-memory snapshot services transparently checkpoint, clone, replicate, and restore running applications anytime, anywhere in a multi-cloud computing environment. Overall, Big Memory Computing technologies shorten time-to-results and are delivering unprecedented in-memory application availability and mobility for leading enterprises, research institutions and cloud service providers. MemVerge aims to democratize data-intensive compute for researchers, scientists, analysts and engineers around the world, and liberate all workloads to move in multi-cloud environments everywhere.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

The Ken Blanchard Companies Partners with Immersive Learning Leader Talespin on New Trust VR Simulation

The Ken Blanchard Companies | February 17, 2022

The Ken Blanchard Companies, a global leader in management training, consulting, and coaching, announced its partnership with Talespin, a spatial computing company focused on workforce knowledge transfer and skills insights, to create a series of learning modules on building and restoring trust. Trust is at the heart of every relationship and is especially critical in the workplace. In fact, the primary factor affecting employee turnover is whether a trusting relationship was developed between the manager and the employee. And research shows that the pandemic is weakening the already fragile bonds of trust between leaders and their people.1 Blanchard's Building Trust teaches leaders and their team members how to cultivate trust in the workplace and how to repair trust when it's been broken. Learners now have realistic conversations with a virtual team member through an online simulation. Leveraging the proven efficacy of virtual reality as one of the most impactful learning modalities, the VR simulations in Building Trust let learners encounter common workplace scenarios and have life-like conversations with a virtual human in an immersive environment. The modules, which were created using the Talespin platform, will help individuals apply behaviors that create trust in the workplace and show how to repair trust when it's been broken. Talespin's use of XR helps individuals learn faster, validate their skills, and find upward mobility in the workforce. "Immersive experiences allowing for safe practice of skills is critical in our virtual working world. Consuming content passively—such as viewing a video or even less-interactive modalities like an eLearning course—only conveys the knowledge. Skill acquisition and habit building will occur only when individuals apply the knowledge. These scenarios allow for that person to practice, learn from the outcome in the module, and increase their likelihood of having more trustworthy conversations with people at work," said Britney Cole, vice president of solutions architecture and innovation strategy. Blanchard's Recognizing Trust and Restoring Trust modules, which are part of Building Trust, can be deployed both via desktop streaming and VR/XR head-mounted displays. Organizations can use the modules within their existing leadership development programs and learning journeys, as part of a Building Trust workshop or online module, or as part of the Talespin off-the-shelf library. Customers and their learners can track skill development in the new learning modules using the Talespin platform. In rapidly changing work environments, skills like creating and maintaining trust with others are vital. We're excited to be partnered with The Ken Blanchard Companies, bringing their world-class leadership content and frameworks to life in XR using our platform." Stephen Fromkin, chief content officer and co-founder of Talespin "Immersive and virtual reality simulations are a powerful way to reinforce Blanchard's content. We are excited to integrate Talespin's cutting-edge platform into our offerings and know they will help learners master the foundational skills of inspired leadership," said Scott Blanchard, president of The Ken Blanchard Companies. About The Ken Blanchard Companies The Ken Blanchard Companies is a global leader in management training, consulting, and coaching. For more than 40 years, Blanchard® has been helping organizations develop inspired leaders at all levels and create cultures of connection that unleash talent and deliver extraordinary results. Blanchard's SLII® powers inspired leaders and is the leadership model of choice for more than 10,000 organizations worldwide. Blanchard also offers a suite of other award-winning leadership development solutions through flexible delivery modalities to meet the specific needs of its clients. About Talespin Talespin is building the spatial computing platform to power talent development and skills mobility for the future of work. Founded in 2015, the company leverages its proprietary XR technology platform to deliver XR-based learning and training applications, mixed-reality field tools to support employee job performance, and a new skills-based approach to work and productivity. With offices in Los Angeles and Utrecht, The Netherlands, Talespin is building a future of work where the distance between learning and execution is collapsed, enabling people to explore unique career paths that meet the needs of businesses and individuals. Talespin's investors include Cornerstone, Farmers Insurance Exchange, and HTC.

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Spotlight

The automation journey consists of 3 steps: virtualization, datacenter transformation and distributed cloud & network slicing. On the first step, driven by the challenges of high capex and long time to test and deploy a service, operators decide to move towards virtualization. By automating the testing and life cycle management of virtual network functions (VNFs), it's possible to benefit from lower total cost of ownership and shorten the time to market.

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